CINCINNATI (Aug. 21, 2004) -- Carson Palmer gave Cincinnati fans more reason to believe this could be a turnaround season for the Bengals.
"We can be very explosive. I think we showed that tonight," Palmer said. "If we stick with our game plan, and guys execute, that's what happens -- you put up 30 points."
Palmer passed for three touchdowns and set up another with a 48-yard completion to Chad Johnson as the Bengals scored on their first three possessions and beat the New England Patriots 31-3.
"I hope we're on the way up," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. "We're getting better. We have a bunch of guys who are smart enough to learn from their mistakes."
It was a breakthrough game for Palmer and a giddy night for Bengals fans, who cheered Palmer and running back Rudi Johnson, and booed former Cincinnati running back Corey Dillon -- traded to the Super Bowl champions during the offseason.
New England coach Bill Belichick, who said the Patriots' passing game in their preseason opening win over Philadelphia looked like "junior high schoolyard football," had little more to be happy with this week.
"The Bengals ... were outstanding in every phase of the game, and we didn't do much of anything," Belichick said. "They played aggressive and they played well, and we didn't do any of those things.
"Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do."
NFL.com - New England at Cincinnati Game Recap